Player Piano

by Building Rockets

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about

In the dead of winter of 2006-2007, Building Rockets encamped in an empty chapel with a carload of recording gear and made this album of songs about love, loss, death, and God. Though sonically they smoothed off some of the rougher edges of their debut, Player Piano sacrifices nothing of their depth to the more refined production. The songs remained tight and poppy and explored wider-ranging sounds -- from country gospel to songs about the Irish Potato Famine of the 1840's.

Bonus Tracks (album only): A Shining Example, An American Wake (Rock Demo), The Record Store Clerk Has Broken Your Heart (demo), and Marching Orders (demo).

credits

released April 27, 2007

Building Rockets was Sam Heath, Russell Johnson, and Scott Littler. All songs written and produced by Sam Heath, except "The Plan," written by B. Brinck, S. Heath, and J. Irvin. Copyright 2007 Noise Resembling Music (ASCAP). All rights reserved.

Thanks to: David Goldblatt - viola on "An American Wake"; Garcia Barnswell and Summer Haack - backing vocals on "A Song for Thomas, Who Doubted"; Fr. Harold Ritchie, Jeff Van Dyke, Daniel Watson, and Kelly Scarborough - clapping on "Let's Get You to Bed."

license

all rights reserved

tags

about

Building Rockets Austin, Texas

Building Rockets is occasionally a band and occasionally a bedroom recording project.

It sounds a little like The Pixies and Wilco covering Fountains of Wayne songs while “Abbey Road” plays in the background.

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Track Name: The Plan
I had a plan. I had a plan to tell to you, that you were right when you said there's nothing we can do. I had a plan; I had a plan a while back: live in a star and never come back. I remember the plan, I remember the plan, I remember all and all you said to me. Visions persist, an after-image echo back. The way you kissed, like a satellite detached. I remember the plan, I remember the plan, I remember all and all you said to me. I remember the plan, I remember the plan, I remember all and all you said to me. And was it all you wanted it to be?
Track Name: Girl, You'll Be a Lawyer Soon
Girl, you'll be a lawyer soon. You're already used to having every eye in the room. Will you become what you despised, like all your cell phone friends in their designer ties? 'Cause it's inside your heart that you might be mistaken. This is all what you make it. Finding loopholes in regulations, do you think your mother's heart is breaking? 'Cause it's inside your heart that you might be mistaken. This is all what you make it. 'Cause it's inside your heart that you might be mistaken. This is all what you make it, and you'll never be the same again.
Track Name: The Maginot Line
Wishing it were simple, you grind to a halt, knowing that there's no way you could ever take this on. Your nerves and vessels remain exposed from all the summer nights when you were never more alone. And it's clear that you'll destroy me but I'd rather burn out than just become boring and waste away in this town. A Maginot Line around your heart for protection only works if you get just what you're expecting. And still we try and soldier on, even though you know we've both been wrong before. And it's clear that you'll destroy me but I'd rather burn out than just become boring and waste away in this town.
Track Name: It's a Lie
The sun hits your face and makes you feel like you are winning, like you're up 13 to nothing with the bases loaded at the bottom of the final inning. But it's a lie that they tell you just so you will stop complaining. It's a lie that they tell you just so things will stay the same. The words that you tell yourself keep your feet pressed to the ground, and there are nights when you pick up the bottle and ones when it puts you down. But it's a lie that they tell you just so you will stop complaining. It's a lie that they tell you just so things will stay the same. And you tell yourself it all comes back around.
Track Name: An American Wake
They raised up their pints and said, "Here's to you, Michael. For the rest of our lives we'll ne'er see you again." And they all gathered 'round and they offered their blessings, believing that these things would follow him on. And the old men are whistling songs they learned in their youth, and the boys are looking for roads that lead out of town. After a year, the letters stopped coming; soon after, no one to take them remained. For decades the house stood open and empty, slowly beaten to dust by the rains. And the old men are whistling songs they learned in their youth, and the boys are looking for roads that lead out of town.
Track Name: A Song for Thomas, Who Doubted
Old Thomas he sat with his chin to his chest, and the sweat stung his eyes and the sobs shook his breast.
And the words that they’d said to him gave him no rest: he cried, “Lord, won’t You come back for me?”

Lord, won’t You come back for me?
Lord, won’t You come back for me?
Lord, won’t You come back; Lord, won’t You come back; Lord, won’t You come back for me?

And while Thomas was pondering what he’d been told, there appeared The Almighty, all lightning and gold.
And the holes in His hands were the eyes to His soul. Lord, won’t You come back for me?

Lord, won’t You come back for me?
Lord, won’t You come back for me?
Lord, won’t You come back; Lord, won’t You come back; Lord, won’t You come back for me?

Though the wound in Your side my hand hasn’t touched, and my desires and sorrows will soon crumble to dust,
Wherever I could run would never be far enough. Lord, You’re gonna come back for me.

Lord, won’t You come back for me?
Lord, won’t You come back for me?
Lord, won’t You come back; Lord, won’t You come back; Lord, won’t You come back for me?
Track Name: When I Took Your Hand
Let's get out of town and take a holiday tonight. We'll take 51 and chart a course by the moonlight. Yeah, you laughed when I took your hand, but I can't think of a better plan. We'll drive all night and beat the dawn to your father's place, and greet the morning as the sun slides warm across the lake. Yeah, you laughed when I took your hand, but I can't think of a better plan. Yeah, you laughed when I took your hand, but I can't think of a better plan than to lie here and dream of you.
Track Name: Being An Account of the Amazing, Improbable Journey of a Mr. Phineas T. Snodgrass, Balloonist Extraordinaire
Pull up the final stake, my dear, and upward we shall depart. The air is crisp but our balloon is warm, and we become light as the stars. Look how the buildings fall away, the shrinking of the London streets, whose trudging gait we let drop away and plot our course above the sea. Our balloon shall set itself on the lunar shore. We'll leave the troubles of poor London far behind. Astronomers will bestow new names upon us, and our mothers' names will make the front page of the Times. Your eyes no longer a scullery maid's, our hearts are now kin to gulls', and I no more a stable boy shall die now that I heed a poet's call. Your winsome beauty shames the sun, and brings a cynic to his knees; your sighs make the zephyr catch his breath and wring tears from the Pleiades. Our balloon shall set itself on the lunar shore. We'll leave the troubles of poor London far behind. Astronomers will bestow new names upon us, and our mothers' names will make the front page of the Times.
Track Name: How We Lost California
California broke away and into the sea it withdrew; over sandbars and ancient currents, and before long you were gone. When the revenant cried, it was long and low. We ran to the shore to catch you, but our thrashing limbs would fail. Our arms were not long enough to hold the Republic before it slipped away. When the revenant spoke, it was long and low.
Track Name: The Record Store Clerk Has Broken Your Heart
You shivered once and he kissed you like a hot knife, and you wondered where he could've hidden all of your life. Then he left you for a girl he'd barely met, although I'm sure he'd bet they'd make a smashing pair. But oh, come back to me, dear! His company, dear, has left you broken. We'll get a bottle of cheap brandy and drink until we can scarcely stand at all. He'd move on the shyest girls, and they'd take cover behind the rows of Modern English and the would-be lovers tired quickly of Duke and 'Trane, Ornette and Etta James, and moved on to Marvin Gaye, it seemed like every day. But oh, come back to me, dear! His company, dear, has left you broken. We'll get a bottle of cheap brandy and drink until we can scarcely stand at all.
Track Name: Baptism Song
You were baptized on the riverside. It felt so good just to let yourself die, and as you fell away just like the tears from your eyes, you were new. All these people that you call your friends wonder if some day you'll let them in. Pushed away by all of your supposed sins only you knew. You prayed to God that He could change the past and in your dreams you'd watch the house collapse: every wall would crumble and every window crack, levelled and reduced to splintered beams and dust and ash, and you hope there is a Hell where every heart can meet its match. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.
Track Name: Bob Dylan
When I get up, I've got the shakes. Seems to happen every time I wake. And I'm trying to write a song but the words always come out wrong. I get the feeling I'm no Bob Dylan. Strange how the world feels so small when nobody seems to return your calls. And I'm trying to write a song but the words always come out wrong. I get the feeling I'm no Bob Dylan. When she steps in a room, the lights start buzzin'. She looks so familiar, like she's somebody's cousin. And I'm trying to write a song but everything comes out wrong. I get the feeling I'm no Bob Dylan.
Track Name: A Song for Abraham
Before the dawn breaks, before your mother wakes, we set out in the cold and dark. And the blood that courses through my veins runs also through your heart. My son! But would my hand be stayed! My child! But these plans are made. And in this hour we face, know that I would take your place. Here's to the songs of our fathers! We are your sons, we are your daughters!
Track Name: Let's Get You to Bed
It's been a long day; let's get you to bed. It's been a long day; let's get me to bed as well. We'll spend all tomorrow, all tomorrow sleeping in.

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